At Loving Touch Animal Hospital we believe in teamwork. You, the pet owner, the doctor and the veterinarian’s support staff all work together to make your pet as healthy as he or she can be. One aspect of a pet’s life is visits to the doctor. There are two different types of medical exams: the yearly wellness exam and the sick pet exam.
An exam or a procedure starts with the confirmation phone call from the receptionist. We call the day before to confirm your appointment. Our receptionist will ask you to remember to bring several things. The first thing we like for our patient’s parents to do is take a picture of your pet’s food and treats. Often a visit to the vet is very stressful. With everything going on and all the questions we ask it is hard to remember everyday things. Having a picture of your pet’s food is a great way to provide necessary medical information. Diet is a very important aspect of our pet’s health. When your veterinarian knows what kind of food your pet is eating, another piece of the puzzle is put into place.
Another item we may ask you to bring is a stool sample. A stool sample is necessary to check for intestinal worms and bacteria. Ideally a stool sample should be as fresh as possible, preferably within a few of hours of your visit. We may also ask you to bring in your pet’s medications with you. You may need refills or the doctor may need to change an aspect of the medication. Lastly if you are a new patient (we love new patients!), we may ask you to bring a copy of your pet’s previous medical history including a copy of all vaccines given in the past. The more information the doctor has about your pet, the better the treatment provided. You are a very important part of your pet’s medical team!
When you arrive for your pet’s exam, please check in with our receptionist. We are always happy to see you and your pet. After check in, you will be asked to have a seat until one of the nurses comes up to escort you to an exam room. Our larger pet patients will be weighed on the stand on scale; smaller patients will be weighed in the exam room. Once in an exam room, the nurse will ask you about the reason for the visit. She will get a history related to the problem for which the pet is being seen. Depending on the problem, the doctor may come in to the exam room and talk with you about the problem, or the nurse may take your pet to our treatment area for the doctor to perform an exam. The exam starts with checking your pet’s temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate. The doctor will check over your pet thoroughly. If you have any concerns, let your doctor know. The doctor will give you an estimate of the cost of your visit before we do anything besides the exam. The estimate includes the exam, all tests and any medications your Vet may prescribe.
Your pet may have blood drawn for various tests. One important test we do yearly is the heartworm test. This test checks for the presence of adult heartworms and tick-borne diseases. We see a lot of pets with tick-borne diseases. Most tests can be performed during your exam and you will receive the results while you are still here and only take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. We also may look for intestinal worms. We do this by using a sample of your pet’s stool. Sometimes we may ask you to bring a sample back to us if we are unable to collect one. We do not like stressing out our patients and obtaining a stool sample may stress some pets. We will provide you a container to place the sample in. There may be other tests that the veterinarian may want to perform. If your pet is sick or having a problem such as an ear infection, itchy skin, or a urinary tract infection these require further testing. The doctor will make sure you are informed of everything we are doing to your pet. We also offer other services such as nail trims. All of this can be done during an exam.
After all the tests are completed the veterinarian will go over your pet’s test results and may recommend medications to go home for you to give to your pet for a period of time. Other medications like heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative are given every month, year round for the life of your pet. We will go over all the instructions for administering the medications and make sure you do not have any questions.
Lastly your pet’s doctor may need to see your animal friend for a recheck exam or for a booster for a vaccine. Booster vaccines are given 3 to 4 weeks after the very first vaccine has been given. After the initial vaccine series, vaccines are boosted yearly or every 3 years depending on the vaccine. Recheck exams of any kind are important because they let the doctor know how your pet is doing. Having your pet seen at least once a year for a well check exam, keeping your pet’s vaccines up to date, having yearly heartworm tests and fecal tests performed and making sure your pet stays on heartworm preventative and flea and tick preventative.
If you ever have any questions regarding your pet’s health, do not hesitate to call “your other family doctor.”